3 charged in aggravated robbery

Published 8:01 pm Friday, July 12, 2019

Three people were charged in Freeborn County District Court for an alleged aggravated robbery early Friday.

Nando Sanchez

Nando Cristales-Paul Sanchez, 18, of Albert Lea faces a charge of first-degree aggravated robbery, and Rebecca Marie Ortega, 19, of Albert Lea faces a charge of aiding and abetting first-degree aggravated robbery. A juvenile, whose name has not been released, “has been charged similarly,” said Assistant Freeborn County Attorney Erin O’Brien.

Court documents state Albert Lea police received a call for assistance at 2:56 a.m. Friday near 805 E. Main St. regarding an allegation of an assault in which guns were pulled and a man’s backpack was taken.

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The victim reportedly told police he was walking on Bridge Avenue when he saw a silver Chevrolet Impala pull out from the parking lot of Security Bank. He recognized the vehicle as belonging to Ortega, who was an acquaintance.

Rebecca Ortega

The juvenile reportedly got out of the car and asked him whether he wanted to fight. The victim reportedly told the juvenile no and that he was walking home from work. The victim said he noticed the juvenile was holding an object in front of the waistband under his shirt.

As he continued to walk, the Impala pulled up alongside him, and a man who he knew as Sanchez reportedly got out of the vehicle, pulled out a gun and pointed it at him, demanding the victim, “Give me your (expletive).”

The victim said there were three males involved in the incident, and they were all within a few feet of him, and they grabbed his backpack from him.

After searching, police later discovered the Impala parked the wrong way in the 800 block of Minnesota Avenue. Ortega was still in the driver seat, and there were two males outside of the car.

Authorities have stated a third male reportedly fled from police.

Court documents state police found an airsoft handgun in the backseat of the car, and the victim’s backpack was also in the car.

In an interview with police, Ortega reportedly gave a story and then changed it. She said the males saw the victim walking and asked her to pull over, but she didn’t know what they claimed to do.

When asked what had happened near the Fountain Lake dam, and whether he knew what robbery was, the juvenile said, “Yeah, I didn’t rob anyone.”

Freeborn County District Court Judge Steve Schwab ordered bail be set at $50,000 conditional bail for Sanchez, and $10,000 conditional bail for Ortega.

No information was available about the juvenile’s court proceedings as juveniles hearing’s are closed to the public.


See what happened last night in the PM report here.